Turning on Your Sprinkler System After Winter

27 Feb 20

Spring is on its way. I know these freezing temperatures make you laugh at that statement, but soon enough lawns will need mowing and flowers watering. That means sprinkler systems will need to be turned back on.

But how do you de-winterize a sprinkler system? If not done properly, homeowners can end up with busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads. Here’s how to avoid sprinkler system headaches this spring.

Step 1: Check the Temperature

Freezing pipes are one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. Often it results in your entire sprinkler system needing to be replaced, which is both expensive and time-consuming. Before turning your system back on, the threat of frost should be over. Therefore, ensure that you’re far enough into the spring months that temperatures won’t drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also a good idea to check the soil, if no frost is found 12 inches below the surface, then turning the system back on should be safe.

Step 2: Turn 45-Degrees

A winterized system turns the water valves and test cocks of the outdoor backflow at a 45-degree angle to prevent water from being trapped inside the system. To get the sprinkler system ready for everyday use, a homeowner must turn the two stop valves connecting to the house, and the test cocks, to a position perpendicular to the pipes (turn back from current 45-degree angle).

Step 3: Check and Remove Sprinkler Heads

Before turning on the main water valve, it is recommended to check sprinkler heads for damage and remove them before running water through the system. This helps protect against pressure build-up upon initial testing.

Step 4: Slowly Turn Water On

Once the backflow is ready to receive water again, the homeowner should locate their main water valve, often found in the basement or crawlspace of the home. They should SLOWLY turn on the water valve that connects to the sprinkler system. If done too quickly, the quick introduction of pressure can create a “water hammer,” which causes a surge of water into the system possibly busting pipes and sprinkler heads.

Step 5: Check for Leaks

Once water has been reintroduced to the system, check for leaks and other possible problems.

Step 6: Run Through Sprinkler Zones

If all signs point to a properly functioning system, the final step is running water through all the sprinkler zones. This is best done when the homeowner has time to watch for possible irrigation issues. After running water through all the sprinkler zones, and no problems are present, reattach the sprinkler heads for season use.

Is Your Sprinkler System Ready for Spring?

Is your sprinkler system ready to be turned on? Don’t hesitate to contact us to help provide you with the irrigation services you need! Invest in protecting your sprinkler system for the summers to come.